Teams from Russia, Switzerland, Kazakhstan, the US, Denmark, Italy, Belgium and… France

Straight from our inbox to you… Quite a lot of teams from France and assorted cycling nations plus the welcome return of one from Kazakhstan.

As expected the Cervelo Test Team get a wildcard entry – given their start to the season and the fact that last year's winner, Carlos Sastre rides for them it would have been pretty amazing if they hadn't.

20 teams will make up a peloton of 180 riders and set off from Monaco on the 96th edition of the Tour de France on the 4th of July. Can't wait.

Team Milram (MRM)

Quick Step (QST)
Silence - Lotto (SIL)

Team Saxo Bank (SAX)

Caisse d’Epargne (GCE)
Euskaltel - Euskadi (EUS)

United States
Garmin - Slipstream (GRM)
Team Columbia – High Road (THR)

AG2R La Mondiale (ALM)
Agritubel (AGR)
BBox Bouygues Telecom (BTL)
Cofidis, Le Crédit en Ligne (COF)
Française des Jeux (FDJ)

Lampre – N.G.C. (LAM)
Liquigas (LIQ)

Astana (AST)

Rabobank (RAB)
Skil-Shimano (SKS)

Team Katusha (KAT)

Cervélo Test Team (CTT)

Plucked from the obscurity of his London commute back in the mid-Nineties to live in Bath and edit bike mags our man made the jump to the interweb back in 2006 as launch editor of a large cycling website somewhat confusingly named after a piece of navigational equipment. He came up with the idea for road.cc mainly to avoid being told what to do… Oh dear, issues there then. Tony tries to ride his bike every day and if he doesn't he gets grumpy, he likes carbon, but owns steel, and wants titanium. When not on his bike or eating cake Tony spends his time looking for new ways to annoy the road.cc team. He's remarkably good at it.


John_the_Monkey [438 posts] 8 years ago

Why, in the name of all that's holy, are Liquigas riding the tour, for pity's sake?

Beltran tested positive last year, the team withdrew from the ICPT solely so they could sign Basso for a pro-tour ride 2 years before he should have got one, and Gianni Da Ros arrested for allegedly trafficking doping products.

Mr Sock [155 posts] 8 years ago

Especially as Fuji-Servetto (Saunier Duvall as was) were told very firmly that there were not welcome at ASO events. Fair enough Saunier did blot their copybook spectacularly at last year's Tour.

Someone was bound to break ranks and sign Basso - he's just too good a talent to ignore, but signing him, plus Beltran, plus Da Ros it doesn't look good does it.

Maybe ASO had run out of decent Pro Continental French teams to fill out the places?

John_the_Monkey [438 posts] 8 years ago

Teams would be less likely to break ranks if there was a good chance of them being excluded from the premier events for doing so though. The "double penalty" rule for the pro-tour teams is worthless if it can be broken without consequence, imo.

In lots of ways this season could have marked a turning point in the way the sport treats doping and dopers - (actually sticking to the agreed penalties, for instance) given the return of some high profile names following bans, and following the strong showing by ASO and the AFLD(?) last year. Instead we have a team breaking an agreement (without consequence) and L'Equipe allegedly told to do less investigation of dopage. It's starting to look depressingly like business as usual circa the late 90s, early 2000s, isn't it?

I didn't expect the UCI to do anything about it, but had higher hopes for ASO given their stance last year - this decision is really disappointing.

Mr Sock [155 posts] 8 years ago

Can't argue with you there ASO's seem to be operating on the basis that if a team seriously pisses them off in one of their own events they will come down hard, but if the misbehaviour is outside one of their races, or them deem it to be minor stuff second chances will be given.

Probably what we are seeing is the results of the changes that happened at the top of ASO last autumn the catalyst for which was the row with the UCI. The hardliners who were coming down hard on the dopers and obviously had little time for the UCI were ousted in favour of pragmatists. The wrong side won - the Tour de France doesn't need the UCI and nor does professional road racing… don't get me started!

DaSy [741 posts] 8 years ago

The ICPT had a code of conduct for Pro Tour teams that signed up to it, but having a Pro Tour licence and being a member of the ICPT are two seperate things.

As a Pro Tour team you have to adhere to UCI rules, so the 2 year ban for Basso is all that has to be served. If the team hiring him is also a member of ICPT then they have agreed to not hiring a convicted doper for 4 years, but this is a voluntary agreement.

Liquigas renounced it's ICPT membership to allow them to hire Basso, but it was still working within the UCI rules as he had served his 2 year ban, so could legitimately hire him and still keep a Pro Tour licence.

It's all political shinanigans, but it's still legit within the UCI rules. A life ban is the only way forward in my opinion, then there is no question of re-hiring.

John_the_Monkey [438 posts] 8 years ago

Sloppy terminology on my part in referring to it as a rule, I have to admit.